Cherise is a Christian creative based in the US. She is a fantastically talented artist and also creates jewelery, literature and music. Cherise is a real encouragement to me, and has a real heart to see creative Christians use their gifts effectively for Christ.
Age? I’m 23.
Where do you live? In the southern United States.
What is your favorite colour? My favorites are blue-green and violet, but I also like any colors on the cool end of the spectrum. Like a true geek, I’ve even memorized the hexadecimal coding for a few of them: #ccccfff, #553399, #440055, #00aaaa, #000099, #00aa00.
What is your favorite website at the moment? I have a lot of favorites, but a few of them include The Vital Signs Blog, Way of the Master, Immortal Geisha Forums, Bible Gateway, GoodSearch.com, LiveJournal, SheezyArt, RedBubble, FRC, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Flickr, Blogger, Shana Logic, Zazzle, Εκλεκτους.Εις.Σωτηρια, EzraLevant.com and Ebay. (In answer to your most likely thought at this point: yes, I do spend too much time on the internet.)
What are the 3 things that you most like doing with your time? Art (especially drawing,) reading the Bible and surfing the internet.
When did you first start using your creativity for God, and how did that come about? When I was a child I was more interested in singing, and wrote a few short Christian songs even then. I love art, but I feel that my main calling in serving God is in the field of music. However, I feel that people can glorify God in everything that they do. The unsaved world tries in vain to separate our “secular” lives from our spiritual lives, but a relationship with God permeates everything that you do. It’s not possible to only be a Christian on Sundays!
What inspires you? The Holy Spirit. I also take inspiration from current events and things I’m going through at the time. This usually manifests more in my music and poetry, rather than in my visual art. Most of my writing is not on the internet, but a few pieces can be viewed here: http://www.redbubble.com/people/supergrouper/writing. I also compose music, but so far none of it is on my websites. From an artistic standpoint, bits and pieces of my usual style come from Takeuchi Naoko, Takahashi Rumiko, Watsuki Nobuhiro and various online artists. On thing that really inspired my artistic course early on was an interview with Thomas Kinkade, which I read when I was young. He described his artistic development and said that he was pressured by the local art world to view art as needing to be shocking, offensive or political- but in the end, he decided that art could simply be something beautiful. The art world as it is today relies too much upon shock value and too little on talent. Drawing nudity and gore isn’t difficult. Painting a beautiful, detailed landscape bordering on Trompe-l’œil is far more difficult, and much more rewarding. I want to spread beautiful things and happiness into the world. There is already sufficient darkness here.
Who are some of your favorite artists? I have a lot of favorites, in many genre, from many era; a few include Christian Riese Lassen, Thomas Kinkade, Donna Burgess, Edmund Blair Leighton, Claire Belton, Pockiomi, Jen Hacking, Meredith Dillman, Schin Hern Loong and Heather R. Davis. RejectedDreams is an inspiration, too, and a faithful brother in Christ.
What is the most amazing thing that you have seen God do? Wow, it’s hard to choose… I think that curing me of a horrible, almost fatal digestive disease would probably rank in the top ten. The doctors couldn’t cure me, and I had no choice but to believe God- but, as always, He came through. I’ve also seen Him cure cancer in several people, miraculously provide for people in need, and give guidance in troubling situations. I’ve learned that God even cares about the “small” things, if they’re important to us, because He cares about us. My oldest cat- now about 18 years old- was missing for 5 weeks when I was a kid, and God brought her back after Mom prayed. The same cat also weathered an unexpected hurricane outside without sustaining any injury.
Another incident I can think of where God undoubtedly intervened was in an automobile crash a few years ago. My mother had always told me when I was growing up that if I didn’t have time to pray in a crisis, to call out “Jesus!” for help. I had an opportunity to do that when a van I was riding in collided with an 18-wheeler. Seeing the crash unavoidably coming, I called out “Jesus!” Everyone else in the van was hospitalized, but I walked away completely uninjured, even though I was sitting where the impact occurred. I didn’t even feel the impact- it was like something cushioned me.
Do you have any particular projects going on at the moment? Tons of them. Hopefully, I’ll finish at least a few. ^^; I’m working on perfecting new techniques, and in particular I’ve taken an interest in textiles recently. I’m also exploring other types of crafts, and trying to improve my drawing skills. I’ve taken an interest in traditional Japanese kimono, which (to me) are basically like wearable canvases. The traditional type is hand-made and completely unique- often hand-painted in a process called “Yuzen.” I’m interested in replicating this process and using Yuzen on mainstream Western textile art. I’m also interested in modern twists on traditional kimono style, particularly the work of Mamechiyo. Kimono are truly an art, and I would like for that aspect to become more common in Western fashion, as well.
What can we expect to see from you in future? An internationally famous manga series, watercolor paintings, a fashion line, CDs, books and websites. Shoot for the stars! =D
What would you most like to see come out of the Christian Creative scene in the next few years? I’m inclined to agree with C. S. Lewis, who said that he didn’t believe in writing “Christian books,” but in Christians writing books. I think that rather than just aiming products at Christians- although that should be part of it too- Christian artists should enter the mainstream and use their work to lead non-Christians to God. After all, how many lost are going to enter a Christian bookstore and browse there? I believe that faith in God should permeate everything that we do. Any work is noble if done for the glory of God. God anointed artists in the time of Moses with great skill to do the work of creating the tabernacle. I think that in these last days, He is also calling a new generation of artists who will perform great works with the motto, “Soli Deo Gloria.” Bach, the great composer, always signed his works that way- “to God alone be the glory.” God is waiting for the Bachs of our time to answer His call and spread His Name among the nations.
Anything else you would like to say? Jesus is LORD.